Allegro Non Troppo Movie Review
Allegro non troppo is an unabashed reimagination (somewhere between a parody and a remake) of Fantasia, with a decidedly grown-up spin. Featuring the work of six giants of classical music, Bruno Bozzetto and Maurizio Nichetti craft this series of animated oddities, all with the backdrop of a filmmaker (shot in black and white), whose big original idea is to make a film of animated shorts set to classical music. He's told this has been done before, but he proceeds anyway, using an orchestra of elderly women and an animator he keeps under the stage.
The six vignettes that follow comprise juvenile animations set to excellent music. A chubby, naked nymph runs around a watercolor forest looking for girls. Dinosaurs tramp across a post-apocalyptic landscape. A scrawny cat wanders around a tenement. Just about every one of them features a giant, animated, bulbous ass -- and often a whole gaggle of asses. Between sequences, Bozzetto and crew enact a few hopelessly unfunny slapstick moments.
All of this might carry more gravitas if it the film had better production values. Allegro non troppo is a real mess, drawn with all the subtlety of a shovel and hopelessly dated by its 1970s style. Fantasia remains a classic, unweathered by time. Sadly, Ralph Bakshi's awful films feel right at home next to Allegro.
At least Bozzetto and Nichetti picked good music. If they didn't spend so much time jabbering about nothing between vignettes (and who can blame them, animation is more expensive than Marx brothers-style goofy antics), you could turn off the picture and just listen to the soundtrack. As it is, it's almost 10 minutes before the first sequence -- and this is a film that barely hits 85 minutes.
If you really want to see how Allegro stacks up these days, simply compare its rendition of "The Firebird Suite," with that in Disney's Fantasia/2000. There's no contest; there's no comparison at all.